Richmond painter follows father’s footsteps in art

After striking a deal with her dad, a Richmond artist found her calling to pursue a career in art.

Surrounded by artworks and historical artifacts, Jennifer Heine, a Richmond painter, reminisced about the day her art journey started: her dad, a professional artist, offered her a deal to let her travel to Russia with him if she did a sketch.

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“I was intimidated at first, but I really wanted to go to Russia with my dad,” said Heine. The fact that her two older siblings were professional painters didn’t help calm her nerves.

She finished a piece, which was then placed in a group art show and was well-received.

“Things turned out well and I sold the first painting in the show,” she said, adding many of her pieces have been shown in galleries since then.

Heine grew to love realistic painting and has become obsessed with textured details in her nature and portrait pieces, using a mixed-medium process of acrylic under-painting with oil on top as a finish.

“(My) family warned that it was not an easy way to make a living and can be impractical, but you can make it happen,” said Heine. She added that diligence, practice and hard work are all in the process of becoming an artist.

Fast forward 25 years, Heine is now participating in Richmond’s third ArtRich exhibition.

“The notoriety of the show is getting bigger and the (organizer) at the art gallery is doing a good job of doing things to integrate with the community and bring people together,” Heine said. “I think their general profile is growing.”

ArtRich, Heine added, has given local artists and the buying community an opportunity to see the various talented individuals Richmond has.

That said, she heard a few complaints that there are less representation of Richmond because of a wider call for artists in the Lower Mainland.

Andrew Wade, executive director of the Richmond Art Coalition, told the Richmond News that this year's ArtRich exhibition has more Richmond artists than ever before.

"Thirty-seven of the featured artists (live) in Richmond directly, and with other artists having a connection to Richmond other than their addresses, including a number of artists who were former residents," Wade said. The last exhibition, ArtRich 2017 had 22 artists from Richmond.

For Heine, ArtRich is about Richmond building a stronger art community.

“I’d like to see (ArtRich) proactively address the local groups and try to make sure local artists are participating and feel like their work is valued," said Heine.

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